If one took the time to dissect and critique every moronic opinion piece that appeared in our newspapers, one would never have time to do anything else. They are a dime a dozen unfortunately, and can be found any given day in Australia’s press.
I may have already discussed many dozens of these – maybe hundreds – over the years. They are predictable, tedious, and incredibly PC. They will simply parrot all the latest trendy activist causes, and substitute rhetoric and rants for sound argument and hard facts.
Indeed, our chattering classes have perfected the art of pouring out countless tonnes of ink, only to have said nothing – or at least nothing of value, substance and common sense. Consider the latest example of this which appeared in yesterday’s Herald Sun.
Columnist Susie O’Brien tries to inform us that “Nuclear clan idea is out of date”. It is incredible how much nonsense, PC pap, and illogic can be found in just one short piece of writing. It could easily become a standard textbook example of logical fallacies, faulty reasoning, and just plain foolishness.
So let me try to deal with some of the inane things we find in this piece. Consider her opening paragraph. It is a real lulu: “Let’s end this obsession that traditional mum-and-dad parenting is best for children. Single parents and same-sex couples also raise happy, contented kids. Single parents and same-sex couples also raise happy, contented kids. It’s time to fight back for the non-nuclear family.”
One could write a small book on all the foolishness found in these two sentences alone. “Obsession”? What are you telling us Susie? To simply affirm what we all know through common sense and a mountain of research data that children do best with their biological parents is just an “obsession”?
You might as well inform us that to enjoy breathing or eating is just some silly “obsession”. Both are simply facts of life, as is mother-father parenting. It is not only the only way (until recently) that children can come into the world, but it has always been the best and most vital means by which those children are raised.
I have written about this time and time again, and the social science data on this is simply irrefutable. But our lefty trendy opinion makers refuse to deal in facts, but prefer instead to push their radical ideological agendas. I just recently discussed some of the evidence here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2011/09/09/in-praise-of-heterosexual-marriage-and-parenting/
If time permits, one of my next books will be a summary of this mountain of data which makes it crystal clear that children do best, generally speaking, with their own biological mum and dad, and do worse, by every single social indicator, when not raised in that situation.
Yet she goes on with her name-calling and wild rhetoric: “Every day, thousands of single mums, divorced dads and doting step-parents tuck their kids into bed, cook them dinner, read them stories, take them to the park and walk them to school. And yet they’re the subject of a smear campaign by conservative commentators and Christians telling them they’re not good parents.”
Oh, so now it is smearing is it? Just who is doing the smearing here? To point out the truth as expressed in five decades of social science research is of course not smearing. But it is so typical of Susie and her secular left buddies to simply attack and demonise their opponents. It always beats dealing with the actual evidence.
She further demonstrates her inability to seriously and carefully address this issue by stating that single-parent families are on the rise. And the point is Susie? Since when does description imply prescription? Since when does “is” mean “ought”?
We also have a rise in all sorts of things, whether rape, violent crimes, or child abuse. Does the mere fact that something is happening more often therefore mean it should be happening? What sort of argument is that? It of course isn’t an argument at all. It is just another cheap trick used by the activists to further promote their radical agendas.
Every once and a while Susie seems to catch herself, realising that even she does not believe all this patent nonsense and baloney. So she will throw in a little caveat, just to cover her tracks a bit, and not make herself look like a complete nincompoop.
But then she is right back to it, spouting more PC silliness. She tries to bolster her case with a few snippets of research. Of course the other side is always happy to offer one or two selective quotes, while ignoring the thousands of studies which debunk their position.
For example, she speaks of a study which says kids do just fine in same-sex households. But as I thoroughly document in my new book Strained Relations (in two chapters covering some 30 pages with many dozens of footnotes), this supposed research is simply a lot of hot air. Let me cite from my book:
“First, there are many studies that have arrived at the opposite conclusion. For example, a study of Australian primary school children from three family types (married heterosexual couples, cohabiting heterosexual couples and homosexual couples) found that in every area of educational endeavour (language; mathematics; social studies; sport; class work, sociability and popularity; and attitudes to learning), children from married heterosexual couples performed the best, while children from homosexual couples performed the worst. The study concludes with these words: ‘[M]arried couples seem to offer the best environment for a child’s social and educational development’.
“And a major American study arrived at these conclusions: ‘children of homosexuals will 1) be more frequently subjected to parental instability (of residence and sexual partners) and 2) have poorer peer and adult relationships. Also, as is held to be true of their parents, homosexuals’ children will be more apt to 3) become homosexual, 4) be unstable (have emotional problems and difficulty forming lasting bonds) with reduced interest in natality, and 5) be sexually precocious and promiscuous’.
“Second, most of these studies purporting to show that children raised in same-sex households do as well as other children have been roundly criticised for methodological shortcomings. One meta-analysis of 49 such studies found a number of methodological flaws. These include the lack of any proper hypothesis statement, the problem of affirming the null hypothesis, the lack of proper comparison groups, the problem of measurement error and probability, neglect of extraneous variables, and so on. On a less technical level, these studies suffer from small sample sizes, lack of a proper control group, inadequacy of self-reporting, and lack of proper timeframe (longitudinal analysis).
“Two US researchers, after examining the available data, said that ‘studies on same-sex parenting are plagued with persistent limitation[s]’. They conclude their study with these words: ‘we cannot be confident concerning the generalizability of many of the findings’.”
So why doesn’t Susie refer to these studies? Why, they don’t fit into her preconceived agenda of course. So she simply ignores them, and labels her opponents who dare to raise them as “obsessed” and on a “smear” campaign. Name calling is always so much easier than actually refuting the solid evidence.
Our columnist concludes her muddled piece this way: “Recently, more than 50 national leaders of Christian churches signed a letter endorsing traditional marriage as an institution that protects and nurtures children and arguing against gay marriage. It doesn’t sound very Christian to me.”
Oh, so now Susie is a theologian, an expert on all things Christian. But Susie, just why is it un-Christian to proclaim not only biblical truth on this issue, but to affirm the overwhelming consensus of the social science data? Why is it that to side with children and their wellbeing makes one not very Christian?
But by now we have come to expect such juvenile and illogical nonsense by this columnist. She clearly does not want to let reason, facts or evidence get in the way of her ideological crusade. So what else is new in the world of the social activists and their MSM sycophants?